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Single Parents - Divorced Adults Group Message Board › Toys/Clothes.....Things


user 12395857
Baraboo, WI
Post #: 15
I had an unfortunate, and rather heart-breaking disagreement with my ex last night and I'm wondering what others think about your children's posessions. Do they have one set of "stuff" for mom's house and another for dad's? As a matter of practicality, certain things are obviously going to be needed at both places. When my ex and I got divorced though, we discussed that we felt (or at least I felt and he didn't disagree) that anything that was Maddie's was hers to do with as she pleased....meaning the toys and clothes at Mommy's house could be taken to Daddy's house and vice versa. I didn't want her to feel so split in half...that she has one life here and the other there. I want her life to be more fluid and integrated between her two homes instead of having rigid boundaries dictating which "things" belong at mom's house and which belong at dad's.

Yesterday was Maddie's birthday. It fell on a night that she was with her dad, but he was gracious enough to allow me to take her out to dinner. (I invited him and his girlfriend to join us, but as expected, they did not respond.) Anyway, I brought along one present from me for her to open, which she seemed to like. When it was time to go back to Daddy's house, she started crying that she didn't want to. After talking to her for a bit, it seemed that the main reason she didn't want to go there was because she wanted to play with her new toy. Easy fix right? I told her she could take the toy to dad's house. When we got there though and I asked him if that was alright (and admittedly, I shouldn't have told her yes without asking him first), he very sternly said no. She has plenty of toys at his house and we don't need the hassle of taking toys back and forth.

Maddie was genuinely hurt and upset (not just whiney because she didn't get her way) and she started crying. I tried to back him up and also apologize to her for me not asking him first for permission. She was so sad though, between not having her toy and knowing that mom was going to be leaving, so I kind of begged Eric "Please, it's her birthday." He very coldly replied "No, she'll get over it when you leave."

I had to leave her there crying (again, not whining, not screaming, just really sad). I myself then cried the whole way home. I just don't understand how he could hurt her like that over something so trivial...and on her birthday of all things.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has a perspective on this whole issue. Am I over-reacting?
user 6540411
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
Post #: 77
Of course, this is just my own opinion...but I think your ex was totally out of line and being ridiculous. Seems pretty immature to me.

My kids have sets of everything they need (clothes, books, etc.) at both houses, but there are things that go back and forth. Of course, they are older, so they aren't toys per se, but rather DVD's, PS3 games, iPods, and things of that nature. In the situation you described, it is perfectly understandable that your daughter would not want to give up her new toy just because she was going back to her dad's, and I can see no good reason why she should have to.

Seems to me his reaction may not really have been about the toy, but that your ex is really reacting to something else. Perhaps he felt (however misguided) that you were trying to undermine him in some way by not asking him first. Or maybe he still feels angry toward you and was trying to punish you (consciously or not) by not allowing the toy you gave into his house. In any event, I believe he should have handled it with you privately and not in front of your young daughter.

It absolutely infuriates me when parents involve their children in disputes between the two parents, use them as pawns to hurt the other parent, or speak badly of the other parent to their kids. Adults need to act like adults, and unless one parent is abusive or a danger in some way, kids should be allowed to love both parents equally without being made to feel bad about it, or that they have to choose sides in some way.

Sorry, but having lived this kind of thing as a child myself, I have some pretty strong feelings on this subject.
Jane L
user 9999308
Madison, WI
Post #: 16
You are not 'over reacting' Monica ; I agree, parents should be able to put aside their feelings of whatever and let the kids, especially when they are young, take what comforts them to the other's house.
With my son, it was his blanket - Dad thought it would be nothing to replace the blanket after dad left on a plane trip because he was so concerned about missing the connecting flight. Luckily my mother in law, told me the airline had been changed, I had to make 4 phone calls to find the lost and found department to Midwest Air lines, but they indeed did have my son's blanket. I drove to Milwaukee to retrieve the blanket, let his father know I made the trip and the blanket now stays at our house only.

It is just part of two households that some toys and clothes will be duplicated at both homes. I can't imagine how many times I have been disappointed to dress my child in 'nice' clothes, not to see them again, but when I ask for them, we usualy exchange them back. We are currently sharing soccer uniforms and gear and it's going okay. This topic usually gets better over time and with age of the child(ren).
A former member
Post #: 66
you are not over-reacting.
Your ex was more interested in winning, than doing what was right.
I think he probably only protested because the toy was from you, and he didn't want your daughter thinking about you during "his" time.
user 12395857
Baraboo, WI
Post #: 16
That's really hard for me to believe or accept, knowing Eric (or knowing who he used to be at least.) More and more lately though, I've been wondering "What's with him???" Just over a year ago, around the time of our divorce, we were still doing things like taking Maddie to the zoo together. Now it seems like he wants nothing to do with her life with me and he wants me to have nothing to do with her life with him. It's very sad and difficult for me to accept.
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